Buckeyes Down Penn State In Big Ten Opener

Top-ranked Ohio State opened Big Ten play Saturday with a 28-6 win over No. 24 Penn State at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes improved to 4-0 on the season and a perfect 7-0 in Big Ten games against Penn State in the Horseshoe since 1993. Click this free link for more. (NOTE: Story updated at 8:30 p.m. with notes and quotes.)

It was a Big Ten kind of day Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium.

There were raindrops and clumps of mud flying everywhere as top-ranked Ohio State's Big Ten and national championship hopes were hanging in the balance.

The Buckeyes found themselves trailing No. 24 Penn State 3-0 at halftime before they rallied behind four second-half touchdowns – including two on defense -- to take a 28-6 win in the Big Ten opener before 105,266 at the Horseshoe.

"Penn State fought like crazy, like we knew they would," said OSU coach Jim Tressel. "They are tough kids who are well coached. But our kids wouldn't back down. We were able to make a play or two in the second half and then we broke it open with a couple of defensive touchdowns."

It was a strange game matching last year's Big Ten co-champions. PSU coach Joe Paterno missed large portions of the second and third quarters as he dealt with symptoms of the stomach flu. But the Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0) prevailed to win their 11th straight game and also avenged last year's bitter 17-10 loss at PSU (2-2, 0-1).

"Whenever your defense holds people to six points, you ought to have a chance," Tressel said. "And when your defense scores two touchdowns, it's pretty darn good. Offensively we didn't get things going, dropped a couple balls and just didn't play with the consistency that we would like to. I'm sure we'll have a lot to learn from the film. But our kids kept playing on all phases of the game. They never stopped fighting against a very good football team."

OSU has now won all seven of the Big Ten games in Columbus between the schools since PSU joined the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have won those games by an average score of nearly 21 points a game.

OSU tailback Antonio Pittman had 110 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

"Antonio Pittman, really for the second week in a row, gave us a little burst at the time we needed it," Tressel said.

Quarterback Troy Smith shrugged off a pair of interceptions to hit Brian Robiskie for a clutch 37-yard touchdown. And, just as Penn State was mounting a late threat to try and tie the game, cornerback Malcolm Jenkins intercepted a pass from PSU's Anthony Morelli and rolled 61 yards for the game clinching touchdown with 2:31 left.

OSU cornerback Antonio Smith added a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:07 left to cap the scoring.

Troy Smith ended up 12 of 22 passing for 115 yards. Smith said the rain, which hit briefly in the second quarter, was not a major factor in the game.

"The game plan today was to put the ball in the air," Smith said. "The weather had no effect. That is an excuse we want to stay away from. Sometimes you get the ball and sometimes you don't. You can drop the ball in 80-degree weather."

Robiskie led OSU with three catches for 51 yards and his touchdown.

"Being that third receiver right now, I'm just trying to take advantage of my opportunities," Robiskie said.

Morelli, a junior making his fourth career start, was 16 of 25 passing for 106 yards and three interceptions.

PSU tailback Tony Hunt had 135 yards on 24 carries. The teams were almost dead even in total offense with OSU holding a 253-248 edge.

"We tried to establish the run early on, but we got behind and had to throw the ball more than we would have liked," Paterno said. "I don't think we threw it as well as we could have either. But give credit to them they are a good football team.

"They held Texas to a touchdown on their own field. So we knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I thought we played hard and were in it until the end."

The first half was a defensive standoff, played for the most part in a steady rain. The OSU defense forced a three-and-out to open the game. But the Buckeyes turned the ball over just as quickly as, on first down at the OSU 32, Smith dropped and threw deep down the middle to Ted Ginn Jr. The pass was overthrown and PSU's Justin King made the diving interception with 11:31 left in the first quarter.

Penn State got a first down, but was faced with third-and-8 at its own 38. Morelli dropped and was pressured as linebacker Marcus Freeman came on a delayed blitz. Morelli threw late over the middle toward Jordan Norwood. But OSU safety Brandon Mitchell tipped the pass up in the air to linebacker James Laurinaitis, who notched his third interception of the year. The Buckeyes were in business at the PSU 39 with 8:50 left in the first quarter.

"It's the same thing every week, where other guys were doing their job and I just got lucky," Laurinaitis said. "It was that way again today. He was under pressure. Brandon Mitchell made a tremendous play and the ball bounced right into my hands."

But OSU could not muster a first down. Pittman got 4 yards on first down, Smith's second-down pass was incomplete and he scrambled for no gain on third down. Aaron Pettrey's 52-yard field goal sailed wide right with 7:11 left in the first half.

OSU started its next two possessions at its own 6- and 7-yard lines, respectively, as punter Jeremy Kapinos backed the Buckeyes up with a pair of strong punts. OSU moved the ball on the possession starting at the 7, going 55 yards in 14 plays to get some breathing room. It bogged down at the PSU 38 and punter A.J. Trapasso backed the Lions up to their own 1, where Anderson Russell fielded the punt with 8:50 left in the first half.

The Lions did not get a first down again, but Kapinos struck with a 68-yard punt, which Ginn mishandled. Smith hit Ginn for a 12-yard gain and a first down, but the Buckeyes were soon punting again. Trapasso's 28-yard effort went out of bounds at the PSU 30 with 5:58 left in the half.

Penn State embarked on an 11-play, 67-yard march to the game's first points. Morelli overcame a sack by OSU's Vernon Gholston on the first play by finding Brendan Perretta for an 8-yard gain and a first down. Two plays later, Morelli threw deep down the middle to Williams. But OSU's Russell brushed Williams before the ball arrived and was flagged for pass interference. PSU had a first down at the OSU 40. An 11-yard pass to Patrick Hall and a 15-yard rumble by Hunt gave PSU a first-and-goal at the 9.

But the OSU defense, behind a tackle-for-loss by Mitchell, stiffened and forced PSU to try a 23-yard field goal with three seconds left in the half. Kevin Kelly's attempt was no good, but OSU's Russell was flagged for roughing the kicker. With time expired, Kelly got another chance from 21 yards out and made it for a 3-0 PSU lead at the intermission.

Things went from bad to worse for Ohio State on its first series of the second half as, on second-and-9 from the OSU 23, Smith tried to throw toward Anthony Gonzalez. But PSU defensive tackle Ed Johnson batted it up in the air and PSU linebacker Dan Connor intercepted it at the OSU 26 with 13:39 left in the third.

But, again, the Ohio State defense stood tall. End Jay Richardson stopped Hunt for a 1-yard gain on first down. Morelli then threw a pair of incompletions. Kelly came back on to try a 42-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide left with 12:36 left in the third quarter.

Ohio State finally came out of its funk with a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown march to grab the lead. Pittman got around left end for 19 yards to get it going. Smith then rolled right and found Gonzalez for a 12-yard gain and a first down at the PSU 41. Chris Wells came on and plowed ahead for a 3-yard gain and a first down at the PSU 29. Smith then dumped a screen pass off to Pittman, who got a block from tackle Alex Boone and rolled for a 17-yard gain down to the 12.

On first down there, Pittman took a give and followed tackle Kirk Barton over the right side. He encountered PSU safety Anthony Scirrotto at the 2, but twisted away from Scirrotto and landed on the goal line for the long-awaited 12-yard touchdown and a 7-3 lead with 9:06 left in the third quarter.

The Buckeyes extended their lead early in the fourth quarter after a seven-play, 62-yard possession. Pittman got it started with runs of 7, 5 and 6 yards. Facing third-and-2 at the PSU 42, Smith threw short over the middle to fullback Stan White Jr. He outfought PSU's Dontey Brown for the ball and a 4-yard gain and a first down at the PSU 38.

Two plays later, Smith dropped to throw, but was flushed by PSU's Tim Shaw. Smith rolled to his right to elude pressure. Then, just as Shaw was closing in again, he reversed field back to the middle. He threw deep down the middle to Robiskie for the 37-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead with 12:56 left in the game. On the play, Smith threw the ball from OSU's 47-yard line to Robiskie in the end zone. Robiskie caught the long spiral easily in front of PSU corner Tony Davis.

"We practice scrambling drills like that all the time," Smith said. "The line gave me enough time to reverse field and put the ball in the air and Robo just went up and made a great catch. You need moments like that when you're down and out when things aren't going the way you want them to go, you've just got to keep going."

Penn State did not wilt away, though. The Lions, aided by a pass interference penalty on OSU's Marcus Freeman, moved 74 yards in 10 plays. The key play was Hunt's 34-yard burst, where Freeman had a shot at him near the line of scrimmage. That play gave PSU a first down at the 5. OSU's Curtis Terry stoned Hunt for no gain on first down. Hunt then got down to the 1 on second down. On third-and-goal, PSU tried a quick give to fullback BranDon Snow. But OSU's Mitchell and Laurinaitis stacked him up for no gain.

On fourth-and-goal, PSU lined up to go for a touchdown. But guard Rich Ohrnberger was flagged for a false start. The OSU faithful in the south stands were delivering the noise at this point, and it may have factored in the crucial penalty.

"It hurt because we had to (get a touchdown)," Morelli said. "It was just was not to be and not our day."

Kelly came on and made a 23-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-6 with 7:33 left in the game.

"On that one drive, Penn State did a nice job in going down there," Tressel said. "But our guys turned them away there. For them to settle for three, that was huge."

Penn State forced an OSU punt and took over on its own 8-yard line. The Lions moved out to their own 44. But on first down there, Morelli threw late in the right flat toward tight end Kevin Darling. OSU's Jenkins stepped in front of the pass for the interception. He weaved his way through traffic for a 61-yard return for a touchdown to give the Buckeyes a 21-6 lead and put the game away with 2:31 left.

"I had been working on the out routes all day," said Jenkins, who notched his second interception of the year. "We disguised our coverage. He tried to hit the tight end behind me and put some air under it. It was easy for me to make the play.

"Once you get the ball in your hands, it's like fun, like you're back in high school. I just tried to beat the receiver. After that, it was just find the open space."

Antonio Smith's interception came just moments later as the Buckeyes salted another Big Ten win away.

"It feels great," said Smith, a former walk-on who notched his first career interception and touchdown on the play. "It was an opportunity for me. I just give credit to the defense. The defense, as a whole, played well today. We have to continue to have that."

Also Notable

* Troy Smith's first-quarter interception ended a string of 152 pass attempts without a pick, dating back to last year's win over Northwestern – a span of five full games. But Smith improved to 17-2 as a starting quarterback at OSU.

* Pittman reached the 100-yard mark for the third time in four games this year and for the 10th time in his career.

* The last time OSU had two interception returns for touchdowns was in the 51-17 win over Kent State in 2002.

* Laurinaitis led the Buckeyes with 10 tackles and his interception. Defensive tackle David Patterson had a career-high eight tackles. Vernon Gholston, Joel Penton and Robert Rose all notched sacks for the Buckeyes.

Through four games – two against ranked opponents – the OSU defense is allowing eight points and 282.5 yards per game.

"Defensively, what more can you say?" Troy Smith said. "They're showing up game after game, making plays, and I think that they'll continue to get better through the course of the season."

* The win allowed Ohio State to draw even at 11-11 in the all-time series, including an edge of 8-5 in Columbus. The Buckeyes have won nine of the 14 games played overall since PSU joined the Big Ten.

Paterno, who turns 80 in December, is back for his 41st year as the PSU head coach. This was the 18th time he has prepared a team to play Ohio State. He is now 7-11 all-time against the Buckeyes.

Regarding his absence from the sideline, Paterno said, "I had a little bug during the week."

He was asked if it was hard to leave the field during the game.

"It would have been a lot harder if I hadn't have left," he joked.

* Ohio State's 11-game winning streak, dating to last year's loss at Penn State, is second to TCU's streak of 13 in terms of active winning streaks nationally. TCU was idle this weekend.

* OSU's record as the nation's No. 1 team is now 56-9-1.

* In the records department under Tressel, Ohio State is now 54-13 overall, 34-4 at home, 31-10 in Big Ten games, 18-3 in home Big Ten games and 23-7 against ranked teams. The four home losses under Tressel were against Wisconsin and Illinois in 2001, Wisconsin in 2004 and Texas in 2005.

* The Buckeyes have now won eight straight home games and 30 of their last 32 home outings.

* Penn State is now 4-9 all-time against the nation's No. 1-ranked team. This was PSU's first game against a No. 1 team since 1998, when the Nittany Lions visited OSU and lost 28-9.

Paterno's teams are 4-7 all-time against No. 1 teams. Two of those wins gave PSU national championships – against Georgia in the 1983 Sugar Bowl and Miami (Fla.) in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl.

* Ohio State will visit Iowa next Saturday for a prime time game (8 p.m., ABC). The Hawkeyes (4-0, 1-0) opened Big Ten play with a 24-7 pasting of Illinois.




Buckeye Sports Top Stories

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","mobileBody":"It was a Big Ten kind of day Saturday afternoon at Ohio Stadium.

There were raindrops and clumps of mud flying everywhere as top-ranked Ohio State's Big Ten and national championship hopes were hanging in the balance.

The Buckeyes found themselves trailing No. 24 Penn State 3-0 at halftime before they rallied behind four second-half touchdowns – including two on defense -- to take a 28-6 win in the Big Ten opener before 105,266 at the Horseshoe.

\"Penn State fought like crazy, like we knew they would,\" said OSU coach Jim Tressel. \"They are tough kids who are well coached. But our kids wouldn't back down. We were able to make a play or two in the second half and then we broke it open with a couple of defensive touchdowns.\"

It was a strange game matching last year's Big Ten co-champions. PSU coach Joe Paterno missed large portions of the second and third quarters as he dealt with symptoms of the stomach flu. But the Buckeyes (4-0, 1-0) prevailed to win their 11th straight game and also avenged last year's bitter 17-10 loss at PSU (2-2, 0-1).

\"Whenever your defense holds people to six points, you ought to have a chance,\" Tressel said. \"And when your defense scores two touchdowns, it's pretty darn good. Offensively we didn't get things going, dropped a couple balls and just didn't play with the consistency that we would like to. I'm sure we'll have a lot to learn from the film. But our kids kept playing on all phases of the game. They never stopped fighting against a very good football team.\"

OSU has now won all seven of the Big Ten games in Columbus between the schools since PSU joined the Big Ten. The Buckeyes have won those games by an average score of nearly 21 points a game.

OSU tailback Antonio Pittman had 110 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.

\"Antonio Pittman, really for the second week in a row, gave us a little burst at the time we needed it,\" Tressel said.

Quarterback Troy Smith shrugged off a pair of interceptions to hit Brian Robiskie for a clutch 37-yard touchdown. And, just as Penn State was mounting a late threat to try and tie the game, cornerback Malcolm Jenkins intercepted a pass from PSU's Anthony Morelli and rolled 61 yards for the game clinching touchdown with 2:31 left.

OSU cornerback Antonio Smith added a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:07 left to cap the scoring.

Troy Smith ended up 12 of 22 passing for 115 yards. Smith said the rain, which hit briefly in the second quarter, was not a major factor in the game.

\"The game plan today was to put the ball in the air,\" Smith said. \"The weather had no effect. That is an excuse we want to stay away from. Sometimes you get the ball and sometimes you don't. You can drop the ball in 80-degree weather.\"

Robiskie led OSU with three catches for 51 yards and his touchdown.

\"Being that third receiver right now, I'm just trying to take advantage of my opportunities,\" Robiskie said.

Morelli, a junior making his fourth career start, was 16 of 25 passing for 106 yards and three interceptions.

PSU tailback Tony Hunt had 135 yards on 24 carries. The teams were almost dead even in total offense with OSU holding a 253-248 edge.

\"We tried to establish the run early on, but we got behind and had to throw the ball more than we would have liked,\" Paterno said. \"I don't think we threw it as well as we could have either. But give credit to them they are a good football team.

\"They held Texas to a touchdown on their own field. So we knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I thought we played hard and were in it until the end.\"

The first half was a defensive standoff, played for the most part in a steady rain. The OSU defense forced a three-and-out to open the game. But the Buckeyes turned the ball over just as quickly as, on first down at the OSU 32, Smith dropped and threw deep down the middle to Ted Ginn Jr. The pass was overthrown and PSU's Justin King made the diving interception with 11:31 left in the first quarter.

Penn State got a first down, but was faced with third-and-8 at its own 38. Morelli dropped and was pressured as linebacker Marcus Freeman came on a delayed blitz. Morelli threw late over the middle toward Jordan Norwood. But OSU safety Brandon Mitchell tipped the pass up in the air to linebacker James Laurinaitis, who notched his third interception of the year. The Buckeyes were in business at the PSU 39 with 8:50 left in the first quarter.

\"It's the same thing every week, where other guys were doing their job and I just got lucky,\" Laurinaitis said. \"It was that way again today. He was under pressure. Brandon Mitchell made a tremendous play and the ball bounced right into my hands.\"

But OSU could not muster a first down. Pittman got 4 yards on first down, Smith's second-down pass was incomplete and he scrambled for no gain on third down. Aaron Pettrey's 52-yard field goal sailed wide right with 7:11 left in the first half.

OSU started its next two possessions at its own 6- and 7-yard lines, respectively, as punter Jeremy Kapinos backed the Buckeyes up with a pair of strong punts. OSU moved the ball on the possession starting at the 7, going 55 yards in 14 plays to get some breathing room. It bogged down at the PSU 38 and punter A.J. Trapasso backed the Lions up to their own 1, where Anderson Russell fielded the punt with 8:50 left in the first half.

The Lions did not get a first down again, but Kapinos struck with a 68-yard punt, which Ginn mishandled. Smith hit Ginn for a 12-yard gain and a first down, but the Buckeyes were soon punting again. Trapasso's 28-yard effort went out of bounds at the PSU 30 with 5:58 left in the half.

Penn State embarked on an 11-play, 67-yard march to the game's first points. Morelli overcame a sack by OSU's Vernon Gholston on the first play by finding Brendan Perretta for an 8-yard gain and a first down. Two plays later, Morelli threw deep down the middle to Williams. But OSU's Russell brushed Williams before the ball arrived and was flagged for pass interference. PSU had a first down at the OSU 40. An 11-yard pass to Patrick Hall and a 15-yard rumble by Hunt gave PSU a first-and-goal at the 9.

But the OSU defense, behind a tackle-for-loss by Mitchell, stiffened and forced PSU to try a 23-yard field goal with three seconds left in the half. Kevin Kelly's attempt was no good, but OSU's Russell was flagged for roughing the kicker. With time expired, Kelly got another chance from 21 yards out and made it for a 3-0 PSU lead at the intermission.

Things went from bad to worse for Ohio State on its first series of the second half as, on second-and-9 from the OSU 23, Smith tried to throw toward Anthony Gonzalez. But PSU defensive tackle Ed Johnson batted it up in the air and PSU linebacker Dan Connor intercepted it at the OSU 26 with 13:39 left in the third.

But, again, the Ohio State defense stood tall. End Jay Richardson stopped Hunt for a 1-yard gain on first down. Morelli then threw a pair of incompletions. Kelly came back on to try a 42-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide left with 12:36 left in the third quarter.

Ohio State finally came out of its funk with a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown march to grab the lead. Pittman got around left end for 19 yards to get it going. Smith then rolled right and found Gonzalez for a 12-yard gain and a first down at the PSU 41. Chris Wells came on and plowed ahead for a 3-yard gain and a first down at the PSU 29. Smith then dumped a screen pass off to Pittman, who got a block from tackle Alex Boone and rolled for a 17-yard gain down to the 12.

On first down there, Pittman took a give and followed tackle Kirk Barton over the right side. He encountered PSU safety Anthony Scirrotto at the 2, but twisted away from Scirrotto and landed on the goal line for the long-awaited 12-yard touchdown and a 7-3 lead with 9:06 left in the third quarter.

The Buckeyes extended their lead early in the fourth quarter after a seven-play, 62-yard possession. Pittman got it started with runs of 7, 5 and 6 yards. Facing third-and-2 at the PSU 42, Smith threw short over the middle to fullback Stan White Jr. He outfought PSU's Dontey Brown for the ball and a 4-yard gain and a first down at the PSU 38.

Two plays later, Smith dropped to throw, but was flushed by PSU's Tim Shaw. Smith rolled to his right to elude pressure. Then, just as Shaw was closing in again, he reversed field back to the middle. He threw deep down the middle to Robiskie for the 37-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead with 12:56 left in the game. On the play, Smith threw the ball from OSU's 47-yard line to Robiskie in the end zone. Robiskie caught the long spiral easily in front of PSU corner Tony Davis.

\"We practice scrambling drills like that all the time,\" Smith said. \"The line gave me enough time to reverse field and put the ball in the air and Robo just went up and made a great catch. You need moments like that when you're down and out when things aren't going the way you want them to go, you've just got to keep going.\"

Penn State did not wilt away, though. The Lions, aided by a pass interference penalty on OSU's Marcus Freeman, moved 74 yards in 10 plays. The key play was Hunt's 34-yard burst, where Freeman had a shot at him near the line of scrimmage. That play gave PSU a first down at the 5. OSU's Curtis Terry stoned Hunt for no gain on first down. Hunt then got down to the 1 on second down. On third-and-goal, PSU tried a quick give to fullback BranDon Snow. But OSU's Mitchell and Laurinaitis stacked him up for no gain.

On fourth-and-goal, PSU lined up to go for a touchdown. But guard Rich Ohrnberger was flagged for a false start. The OSU faithful in the south stands were delivering the noise at this point, and it may have factored in the crucial penalty.

\"It hurt because we had to (get a touchdown),\" Morelli said. \"It was just was not to be and not our day.\"

Kelly came on and made a 23-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-6 with 7:33 left in the game.

\"On that one drive, Penn State did a nice job in going down there,\" Tressel said. \"But our guys turned them away there. For them to settle for three, that was huge.\"

Penn State forced an OSU punt and took over on its own 8-yard line. The Lions moved out to their own 44. But on first down there, Morelli threw late in the right flat toward tight end Kevin Darling. OSU's Jenkins stepped in front of the pass for the interception. He weaved his way through traffic for a 61-yard return for a touchdown to give the Buckeyes a 21-6 lead and put the game away with 2:31 left.

\"I had been working on the out routes all day,\" said Jenkins, who notched his second interception of the year. \"We disguised our coverage. He tried to hit the tight end behind me and put some air under it. It was easy for me to make the play.

\"Once you get the ball in your hands, it's like fun, like you're back in high school. I just tried to beat the receiver. After that, it was just find the open space.\"

Antonio Smith's interception came just moments later as the Buckeyes salted another Big Ten win away.

\"It feels great,\" said Smith, a former walk-on who notched his first career interception and touchdown on the play. \"It was an opportunity for me. I just give credit to the defense. The defense, as a whole, played well today. We have to continue to have that.\"

* Troy Smith's first-quarter interception ended a string of 152 pass attempts without a pick, dating back to last year's win over Northwestern – a span of five full games. But Smith improved to 17-2 as a starting quarterback at OSU.

* Pittman reached the 100-yard mark for the third time in four games this year and for the 10th time in his career.

* The last time OSU had two interception returns for touchdowns was in the 51-17 win over Kent State in 2002.

* Laurinaitis led the Buckeyes with 10 tackles and his interception. Defensive tackle David Patterson had a career-high eight tackles. Vernon Gholston, Joel Penton and Robert Rose all notched sacks for the Buckeyes.

Through four games – two against ranked opponents – the OSU defense is allowing eight points and 282.5 yards per game.

\"Defensively, what more can you say?\" Troy Smith said. \"They're showing up game after game, making plays, and I think that they'll continue to get better through the course of the season.\"

* The win allowed Ohio State to draw even at 11-11 in the all-time series, including an edge of 8-5 in Columbus. The Buckeyes have won nine of the 14 games played overall since PSU joined the Big Ten.

Paterno, who turns 80 in December, is back for his 41st year as the PSU head coach. This was the 18th time he has prepared a team to play Ohio State. He is now 7-11 all-time against the Buckeyes.

Regarding his absence from the sideline, Paterno said, \"I had a little bug during the week.\"

He was asked if it was hard to leave the field during the game.

\"It would have been a lot harder if I hadn't have left,\" he joked.

* Ohio State's 11-game winning streak, dating to last year's loss at Penn State, is second to TCU's streak of 13 in terms of active winning streaks nationally. TCU was idle this weekend.

* OSU's record as the nation's No. 1 team is now 56-9-1.

* In the records department under Tressel, Ohio State is now 54-13 overall, 34-4 at home, 31-10 in Big Ten games, 18-3 in home Big Ten games and 23-7 against ranked teams. The four home losses under Tressel were against Wisconsin and Illinois in 2001, Wisconsin in 2004 and Texas in 2005.

* The Buckeyes have now won eight straight home games and 30 of their last 32 home outings.

* Penn State is now 4-9 all-time against the nation's No. 1-ranked team. This was PSU's first game against a No. 1 team since 1998, when the Nittany Lions visited OSU and lost 28-9.

Paterno's teams are 4-7 all-time against No. 1 teams. Two of those wins gave PSU national championships – against Georgia in the 1983 Sugar Bowl and Miami (Fla.) in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl.

* Ohio State will visit Iowa next Saturday for a prime time game (8 p.m., ABC). The Hawkeyes (4-0, 1-0) opened Big Ten play with a 24-7 pasting of Illinois.

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